Frequently Asked Questions


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  • Can I cycle in Montreal?

If you're comfortable on a bicycle it would be interesting to see Montreal en vélo. Bicycling magazine named Montreal the top bicycling city for 1999. However, keep in mind that motorists tend to be aggressive and you have to ride circumspectly. Helmets are not mandatory, but bicycles should be well equipped with reflectors if you will be riding after dark, and you should have a good lock: bicycle theft is endemic. The Maison des Cyclistes, 1251 Rachel East, 514-521-8356, rents bikes and sells maps of bike paths in and around the city. There is also bicycle rental in the Old Port (514-847-0666). You can bring a bicycle into the metro, but you must follow the rules.

  • Where are the Tourist Information Offices in Montreal?

Phone Information
Get tourism information on Montréal and Québec’s 21 regions by calling any one of the following numbers:
Tel.: (514) 873-2015 / 1 877 BONJOUR (266-5687)
From France: 0 800 90 7777
From Belgium: 0 800 78 532
Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Infotouriste Centre
1255 Peel Street
Métro: Peel
The Infotouriste Centre offers free tourism information about Montréal, and the rest of the province of Québec, as well as many useful services. You can find out about hotel reservations, guided tours, currency exchange, tax refunds, cruises, travel agencies and car rentals.
April 1 to June 20: daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
June 21 to September 4: daily, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
September 5 to March 31: daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on December 25 and January 1.

Tourist Welcome Office in Old Montréal
174 Notre-Dame Street East
Métro: Champ-de-Mars (Montréal in real time by the Greater Montréal LiveCam Network)
You'll also find tourism information about Montréal at the Tourist Welcome Office in Old Montréal. They offer the tourist bus and métro card, Bus and metro maps, road maps, the Museums Pass and the bicycle-path pass, in addition to regular tourist.
Beginning of April to June 3: daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
June 4 to September 4: daily, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
September 5 to October 31: daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m .
November 1 to beginning of April: Wednesday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed on December 25 and January 1.

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  • When will the conference registration be open? And where is it located?

Conference registration will begin on Tuesday, May 15, at 2.00pm in the lobby area of the New Residence Hall. It will be open all day (8:30am-5:00pm) Wednesday, May 16, through Friday, May 18, in the New Residence Hall. The New Residence Hall is located at 3625 Avenue du Parc and the phone number for the registration desk for the duration of the conference is 514-398-1094 . On Tuesday, May 15, registration for workshop participants will take place at the EDRS office (Room #23 in McGill University Library on 3459 McTavish St) at 8.30am for the morning workshop participants and at 1pm for the afternoon workshop participants. .

  • Where can I check my email?

There will be computers set up in the New Residence Hall, directly across the hall from the conference venue. Email and Internet access will be available in this room for conference attendees during registration hours, 8:30am-5:00pm.

You can also check your e-mails in the McGill Library. You will have to use your guest login name and password which will be provided in the welcome package.

  • Where are the nearest photocopy/printing facilities?

Photocopying facilities are available in the McGill Libraries with the purchase of a copy card or coins, at the Minolta Copy Shop (920 Sherbrooke Street W. Phone: 514-289-9100) or Copy Smart shop which is opposite New Residence Hall (3506 Park Avenue; Tel: 514-845 4515; open Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm).

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  • Language in Montreal.

French is the official language of Québec, but you'll find people who speak English as well, especially in Montréal. Even if you don't know a word of this beautiful language, Montrealers will really appreciate your efforts to greet them in French. Just say, Bonjour !
Montréal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris and the most bilingual city in North America. A lot of Montrealers not only speak English and French, but 20% of the population speaks a third language as well. It is this unique blend of cultures that makes the city so dynamic.
Why not try learning a few basics in French? It's sure to add a whole new dimension to your next visit to Montréal. To get you started, here are some simple words and expressions, along with tips on how to say them. Getting the hang of it? Très bien! Try the 'bonus' words…

Basic words and phrases



bonjour ('n' is silent)


au revoir


s'il vous plaît (last 's' and 't' are silent)

Thank you

merci (the easiest… and most appreciated!)

You're welcome


Yes / No

oui / non

Right / Left

droite / gauche

Do you speak English?

Parlez-vous anglais? ('z', 's', and 's' are silent)

How are you?

Comment allez-vous? ('z' and 's' are silent)

Fine. You?

Bien. Vous? ('n' and 's' are silent)

What time is it?

Quelle heure est-il? ('est' is pronounced 'ate')


Pardon ('n' is silent, accent on second syllable)

Excuse me

Excusez-moi ('z' is silent)


Où? (pronounced 'oo')























Yesterday / Today / Tomorrow

hier / aujourd'hui / demain

Morning / Afternoon / Evening

matin / après-midi / soir

Day / Night

jour / nuit





Restaurant (with patio)

restaurant (avec terrasse)


boutique or magasin

Bank / Exchange Office

banque / bureau de change

Convenience Store


Gas Station

station d'essence



Bus/Train Station

terminus d'autobus / gare de train

Subway Station

station de métro

Post Office

bureau de poste

Tourist Information Office

bureau d'information touristique or








toilettes or salle de bain






addition or facture





How much?

Combien ça coûte?

I am allergic to…

Je suis allergique au…

That was delicious!

C'était délicieux!


C'est beau!

Montreal has four daily newspapers. Only one, The Gazette, is in English. It belongs to the CanWest Global media empire. There are three French-language dailies, Le Devoir, La Presse and Le Journal de Montréal. There are also four free weekly cultural papers, two in each language, all publishing on Thursdays: Mirror and Hour in English, Voir and Ici in French. These can be picked up in many cafés and public places.
For international papers, check any Maison de la Presse Internationale or Multimags.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Canada? What are customs regulations?

Please check the web page of Immigration Canada to see if you need a visa to visit Canada.
Visitors from non-visa countries can stay for three months in Canada and can arrange an extension of a further three months on application to Immigration Canada.
If you are divorced, separated or traveling without your spouse and are bringing your children to Canada, you should bring a document demonstrating the permission of the other spouse, proof of legal custody or a notarized letter from the other custodian(s) which gives travel permission for the specific duration of the trip.
Each adult visitor may import, duty free, a maximum of 40 ounces (1.1 litres) of liquor, or 24 12-oz cans of beer or ale into Canada as personal luggage. Up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes, and 400 grams of tobacco and 400 tobacco sticks may be allowed entry duty free.

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  • How can I travel to Montreal? Getting into and out of Montreal

Pierre Elliott Trudeau International, 22 km west of downtown, now serves all domestic, U.S. and international passenger flights.
A taxi ride from anywhere in town to Trudeau Airport costs a flat rate of $35.
Aerobus shuttle bus service runs from the downtown bus terminal (514-842-2281) with several stops before taking the highway. Fares are lower than taxis: $11.41 + tax to or from Trudeau.
Montreal has bus connections to other cities within Quebec, in the rest of Canada and in the United States. Intercity bus travel does not carry the same stigma as in the U.S. and the buses to Quebec City and Toronto, for example, are quite clean and pleasant. The main bus terminus is the Station Centrale at the corner of Berri and de Maisonneuve, tel. 514-842-2281.
Montreal is on Via Rail's Windsor-Quebec corridor. You can reserve tickets on their website or get them from your travel agent.
Amtrak runs the Adirondack from New York to Montreal daily. Their website also offers reservations. The train journey is comfortable and scenic but may take up to 12 hours.
There are two major downtown train stations, Central Station (Gare Centrale) and Windsor Station (recently renamed L'Allier Station). Both are connected to the Bonaventure Metro station and are thus connected to the underground city. Windsor/L'Allier is only used for commuter trains now.
Highway distances:
Québec 257 km
Ottawa 204 km
Toronto 546 km
Boston 512 km
New York 608 km
Chicago 1363 km
Detroit 915 km
Washington 971 km
Pittsburgh 978 km

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  • Where can I buy an IASSIST 2006 conference T-shirt?

Tastefully colored T-shirts will be available in a variety of sizes for purchase at the registration table in the New Residence Hall. Prices will be announced shortly.

  • Where are some good restaurants?

Restaurant Au Pied de Cochon (Québec Cuisine)

536 Duluth Avenue East
H2L 1A9

(514) 281-1114 (Telephone)

Schwartz's (World famous best smoked meat in the city since 1930) $
3895 Saint-Laurent Blvd.
H2W 1X9

(514) 842-4813 (Telephone)

L'Entrecôte St-Jean ($$)
2022 Peel
Montreal , QC
Neighborhood: Downtown
Phone: 514-281-6492
Cuisine: French

Pizzaiole  (Pizza) $
Crescent 1446A
Montreal , QC
Neighborhood: Downtown
Phone: 514-845-4158
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza

Azuma (Sushi and Japanese) $$
5263 St Laurent
Montreal , QC
Neighborhood: Mile End
Phone: 514-271-5263
Cuisine: Japanese

Moishe's Steak House ($$$)
3961 St Laurent
Montreal , QC
Neighborhood: Mile End
Phone: 514-845-3509
Cuisine: Steakhouse

Taj (Le)  (Indian) $$
2077 Stanley  

Avesta (Anatolian) $
2077 Ste-Catherine W. (near Fort)
PHONE: 514-937-0156
HOURS: Everyday from about 10 a.m.–11 p.m.
La Cabane Grecque ($)
102 Prince Arthur
Montreal, Qc
H2X 1B5

Casa Minhota (Portuguese) $$  
3959 St Laurent

Café Lola Rosa  (Vegetarian) $
545 Milton 

La Cabane (Casual/Bistro) $
3872 St-Laurent Boulevard
Montréal, QC H2W 1Y2 Canada
+1 514 843 7283
Open Hours11a-3a daily

De Damas a Baghdad (Mediterranean) $
170 Prince Arthur St. E.
(at Hotel de Ville St.)
Phone: 514-313-6911
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Alcohol: BYOB

Café/Restaurant Santropol ($)
3990 St-Urbain Street
Montréal, QC H2W 1T7 Canada
+1 514 842 3110
Open Hours11:30a-midnight

Jano (Portugaise) $
3883 St-Laurent Boulevard
Montréal, QC H2W 1X9 Canada
+1 514 849 0646

Chez Doval (Portugaise) $$
150 Marie-Anne Street East
Montréal, QC H2W 1A5 Canada
+1 514 843 3390
Open Hours11:30a-midnight

L’express (French Bistro) $$
3927 St. Denis Street
Montréal, QC H2W 2M4 Canada
+1 514 845 5333
Open Hours8a-2a M-F, 10a-2a Sa, 10a-1a Su

Le Pistou (Mediterranean Cuisine)
1453, av. du Mont-Royal Est
(Coin Garnier/Mont-Royal)
Montréal, Québec H2J 1Z1
Téléphone: (514) 528-7242

La binerie ($)
Québec Cuisine (small restaurant)
367 Mont-Royal Ave East
(Near Drolet)
Montreal, QC
H2T 1R1
Phone: +1 514 285 9078

Dieu du ciel (Brew Pub)
29 west Laurier ave
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H2T 2N2
Telephone : (514) 490-9555

Restaurant au 917 (French Bistro)
917, rue Rachel Est
Montreal, QC H2J 2J2 514) 524-0094

Le yoyo (French Cuisine) $
4720 Marquette Street
Montréal, QC H2J 3Y6 Canada
+1 514 524 4187
Open Hours5:30p-10p

Le Grand Comptoir ($$)
1225, rue du Square-Phillips

La Banquise
994, Rachel Est
Téléphone : (514) 525 2415

Restaurant Su (Turkish Cuisine) $$
5145 Wellington St., Verdun
(near Descharmais Blvd)
+1 514 362-1818

Bistro Bienville
4650 de Mentana St. (at Bienville St.)
+1 514 509 1269

Osaka (Japanese) $$
2137 Bleury St. (near Sherbrooke St.)
+1 514 849-3438

Adega (Portuguese) $$
3124 Beaubien St E. (near 9th Ave)
+1 514 725-6285

Map (Basque tapas) $
2 Sherbrooke St E. (at St Laurent Boulevard)
+1 514 849-3438

Helm Brasseur Gourmand (brewery and tapas) $
273 Bernard St W. (near Park Av)
+1 514 276-0473

Shabu Shabu (Japanese) $$
75 de la Gauchetiere St W. (near St Urbain)
+1 514 396-4746

Maison Indian Curry House ($)
996 Jean Talon St. W. (at Birnam St)
+1 514 273-0004

Click here for more options


Brulerie St-Denis
1587 St-Denis,
Montreal, Qc, H2X 3K3

Whisky Cafe
5800 St-Laurent Boulevard
Montreal, Quebec

Cafe Imagination
330, rue Sherbrooke W, Montreal , Canada
Tel: 514-985-5888
Fax: 514-985-5253

St Viateur Bagel
263 St-Viateur Street West
Montréal, QC H2V 1Y1 Canada
+1 514 276 8044
Open Hours24 hours daily

La Croissanterie Figaro
5200, rue Hutchison, Outremont, Montreal , Canada
Tel: 514-278-6567
OpenHours: 7am - 1am Daily

Café Olimpico
124 St-Viateur W.


  • Where are some good bars?

Crescent and Bishop street bars and pubs (near Guy Metro station) are the predominantly Anglophone places to go to see and be seen. St Denis and St Laurent is the Francophone equivalent. But bilingualism prevails in both places.

Les Bobards
4328 St Laurent, Montréal, QC H2W 1Z3
Phone : 514-987-1174

Brutopia (beers brewed on the premise)
1219 Crescent (between Ste. Catherine and Rene Levesque).
Phone:(514) 393-9277.

Café Campus (performance venue- live bands)
57 Prince Arthur E.
Phone :514-844 1010

Club Soda (performance venue-live bands)
(514) 286-1010
1225 St-Laurent
Montréal, Qc

Hurley's Irish Pub
1225 Crescent

House of Jazz (Fromerly Biddles – Live Jazz Bar)
2060 Aylmer
(514) 842-8656

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  • What is the currency? How should I tip in a restaurant/café/bar?

The unit of currency is the Canadian dollar. Coins are in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents, and $1 (a large gold-colored coin) and $2 (a large bimetallic coin). Bills in $5 (blue), $10 (purple) and $20 (green) are in common circulation and you can get $50s (red) and $100s (brown) from banks, though not from most automatic teller machines (ATMs). Some stores are cautious about accepting bills larger than $20 because of counterfeits.
Downtown stores are usually happy to accept U.S. currency and will often post the exchange rate they are offering. Normally this will be a few percentage points less than the bank rate. Major travelers' cheques are accepted in places that accept credit cards, but are not universally accepted as cash.
Most stores and restaurants accept Visa and MasterCard and often accept American Express. You usually get the most favorable exchange rate by using your credit card. Most ATMs are networked to Cirrus and Interac and accept major credit cards if you have a PIN to enter into the machine.
There are many currency exchange centers throughout the downtown area. They either charge a fee or take a couple of percentage points off the exchange rate for their services. Banks can usually handle U.S. funds without any problem but may not be prepared to handle other currencies. Bank branches are usually open from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. during the week, often with extended hours on Thursday or Friday, but it must be noted that all Canadian banks have reduced the number of their branches in recent years and, in some cases, reduced the hours of existing branches.

Most goods and services in Quebec are subject to two taxes, a federal Goods and Services Tax of 7% (GST, usually listed as TPS on receipts) and a provincial sales tax of 7.5% (TVQ on receipts). Books are not provincially taxed, and most groceries are not taxed at all unless something counts as ready-to-eat. Almost everything else is taxable.
Non-residents may reclaim the sales taxes they have paid on some goods and services, so you're advised to keep your bills and receipts. You can get copies of the necessary forms at customs, tourist information centers, hotels and some department stores.

A tip of 15% is customarily left for waiters and waitresses at the table, calculated on the pre-tax total of your bill. It will not be calculated for you - the additional charges on a restaurant bill are taxes, not service charges, and are not voluntary. You are free to leave more than a 15% tip if circumstances warrant. In bars, the tip is handed over immediately as you pay for each drink or round. Taxi drivers also normally get a tip of 10 to 15%.

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  • Where are some good places to go shopping?

Major shopping areas of Montreal are St Laurent Boulevard and St Denis st for small boutiques and Complexe Les Ailes , Eaton Centre, Place Montreal Trust and Place Ville Marie for department stores. When Place Ville Marie was constructed in the late 1950s, it marked not only a revolution in modern building methods (portable cranes rose with the structure), but also the beginning of modern architecture in the city. Seen from the air, the central building resembles a cross, in honour of the Virgin Mary. The building features commercial offices, banks, shops and restaurants, including the 737 terrace on the roof. The concourse level features many shops and services, and is connected to the Underground City.

Les Cours Mont Royal (which is near Peel Metro station) has a glamorous Past. The complex is mostly commercial space today, but that wasn’t always the case. Built in 1922 based on plans by architects Ross and MacDonald, the building was first an elegant hotel, the largest of the British Empire at the time. The Mount Royal Hotel had 1,100 rooms and an impressive elegance and luxury in its exterior structure and interior décor.

The luxury of the Mount Royal Hotel is still visible today, and the Cours Mont-Royal complex offers a shopping experience that is undeniably elegant. Chandeliers hang from the ceiling and the spiral staircases elegantly lead you from one floor to another.

The Cours Mont-Royal has four floors, the top ones being condominiums. The first floor, at the level of Peel metro, houses mostly small restaurants, but fashion is dominant. Brand name shops have made their homes in the complex: Club Monaco, 3 monkeys, Juan & Juanita, DNKY, Giorgio Emporio, Dolce & Gabanna, and more! The Cours Mont-Royal is the complex of choice to get your hands on the latest designs. Also, the Cours Mont-Royal is linked to Montreal’s underground and has an underground parking lot.

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  • Where are the nearest bookshops?

McGill University Bookstore
3420 McTavish Street
Official bookstore of the conference

Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore
2220 McGill College

Indigo - Place Montreal Trust
1500 McGill College Avenue
Montreal, Quebec H3A 3J5

Librairie du Square
3453 St-Denis
Tél.: 845-7617

Renaud-Bray Librairie

5117, ave du Parc,
Montréal, Qc,
H2V 4G3

1, Complexe Desjardins,
Montréal, Qc,
H5B 1B5

4380 St-Denis
Tél.: 844-2587

Librairie L'Écume des jours
125, rue Saint-Viateur O., Mtl
Tél. (514) 278-4523

Librairie Gallimard
3700 boul. Saint-Laurent
Tél: 514-499-2012
The nearest bookshop is Word Bookstore 469 Milton Street (514) 845-5640. It is a small second-hand bookshop.

  • Where is the nearest supermarket?

There is Metro supermarket in Galeries du Parc and Provigo supermarket at the corner of Parc and Sherbrooke. A good place for groceries and fruits is Eden Garden in Galeries du Parc and Marché Lobo on Parc avenue between Prince Arthur and Milton streets.

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  • Where is the nearest Post Office?

Postal services:
Main post offices are open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. There are also numerous postal counters in convenience stores and the like which may have other schedules.
Downtown post offices:

  • Galeries du Parc (On Avenue du Parc - between Prince Arthur and Milton)
    The post-office is downstairs when you enter the shopping mall
  • 900 de la Gauchetière Street West
  • 1250 Sainte-Catherine Street East

  • Where can I find a swimming pool and other sport and recreational facilities?

All major hotels have a swimming pool and they accept guests in return for a daily fee.

McGill University Sports Complex
475 Pine Avenue West
Montreal, Quebec, H2W 1S4
(514) 398-7000

McGill University Sports Complex is 2 minutes away from the conference venue. Day passes at the McGill Sports Complex cost 8$. There is a gym, swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts etc…

YMCA Du Parc
MONTRÉAL, QC H2V 4H1, Canada
(514) 271-9622

Downtown YMCA
1440 Stanley Street
Montreal, PQ H3A 1P7
Tel: (514) 849-8393
Fax: (514) 849-7821

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  • What are the drinking and smoking regulations?

The legal drinking age in Quebec is 18. You can buy beer and wine at many corner stores, but for a better selection of wine and for other liquors you must go to a government store (Société des Alcools de Quebec). Many restaurants have a liquor license; in some areas, notably Prince Arthur and around Duluth Street, restaurants do without a license and customers can bring their own wine, reducing the expense of the meal. This is not universal and you must look for the "Apportez votre vin" signs.
All buildings on campus are non-smoking. Smoking is not permitted in public spaces including restaurants and bars.

  • Emergency and Medical Services in Montreal

In case of an emergency, dial 9-1-1 to reach operators connected to the fire station, police station, and ambulances. If an accident or sudden illness should occur, there are eight major hospitals in or near the Montréal downtown area, some of them affiliated with leading Montréal universities. For less serious illness, you can see a doctor at a community health centre called a CLSC. These are smaller clinics, and there is one in every neighbourhood. It is always wise to buy medical travel insurance in advance because visitors are charged for medical services in Canada.

In case of emergency: 9-1-1
Québec Poison Control Centre: 1 800 463-5060

Downtown hospitals:

  • Saint-Luc Hospital

1058 Saint-Denis Street
Tél : (514) 890-8000

  • Notre-Dame Hospital

1560 Sherbrooke Street East
Tél : (514) 890-8000

  • Hôtel-Dieu Hospital

3840 Saint-Urbain Street
Tél : (514) 890-8000

  • Royal Victoria Hospital

687 des Pins Ouest Avenue
Tél : (514) 934-1934


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  • Taxis?

It is safe to hail a taxi on the streets of Montreal. If the light on the taxi roof is on, the cab is available. If it is off, the cab is not available.
Sometimes, you will see many taxis parked in a row on a street. This is a taxi stand. These drivers are not off-duty. Go to the first taxi in line.
Once you sit in a cab, the driver will turn on the meter. It will cost you an initial $2.50 for the ride, plus $1.20 per kilometer. It is customary to leave a tip.
            Atlas Taxi        514 485 8585
            Taxi Coop       514 725-2128
            Diamond Taxi 514 273-6331

  • How does the public transportation work in Montreal?

Montreal has an excellent public transit system, the STM (Société des transports de Montréal) consisting of a subway system (see map), 155 bus routes (20 all-night routes), and five commuter train lines. Dial A-U-T-O-B-U-S for information about getting around on the system or check the STM website , which has excellent tools for working out how to get around. Maps and information about the system are also available in every Metro station and at tourist information points.
The metro lines shut down around 12:30 a.m., after which the system shifts over to night bus lines until around 5:30 a.m.
If you're using tickets or paying in cash, you may need to get a transfer if you plan to change from metro to bus, from bus to bus or from bus to metro. If you pay with a ticket or change, the bus driver should hand you a transfer; in the metro, you take one from a machine in your station of entry. You don't need a transfer to exit the metro system as you do in some cities - it's only needed if you want to be able to connect to a bus from the metro system. A valid pass means you don't need a transfer at all because it gives you unrestricted access to buses and metro.
People who are not Montreal residents don't qualify for seniors' reductions or student fares.

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  • Is Montreal a safe City?

Montreal has a low crime rate. Nonetheless it is a large city and you should remain normally vigilant about your possessions and your person. No particular area of the city is marked off as dangerous, but it is not recommended to wander around Mount Royal or other large parks alone at night. The Metro is safe at all times.

  • Driving in Montreal.

Distances and speed limits are posted in kilometers throughout Canada. 60 mph roughly equals 100 kmh. Gasoline prices are in litres.
The main rule to remember about driving in Montreal is that you may not turn right on a red light, although this is now permitted in Quebec outside of the Montreal area.
Montreal presents a few hazards for drivers. Pedestrians are pretty blasé about crossing on red lights, and all road construction and repairs happen in the summer months so it's not unlikely that you will run into a few detours when driving around town in the summer.
Seatbelts are mandatory even in back seats. Helmets are required for motorcyclists. It is obligatory to stop when a school bus is stopping, regardless of the direction in which you are driving. On a few major streets, bus lanes are marked with a large white diamond shape and you must not use these lanes within the hours noted on the accompanying signs. Some streets have bike lanes: these will be marked.
In the city, the Montreal police patrol the streets in blue and white cars. Parking infractions are monitored by city employees in reddish-orange cars - these folks wear green uniforms and are known as Green Onions. The older part of Montreal was built up before the automobile, so parking conditions can sometimes be frustrating. Be wary of neighbourhoods where certain parking spots are reserved for local people with numbered stickers.
Unless you have mobility problems, sightseeing on foot and by Metro is encouraged for this reason, at least within downtown and Old Montreal.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) patrols in khaki and yellow cars on highways, both inside and outside the city. Outside the city, local municipalities can also ticket you if you commit an infraction on a road in their territory.

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  • Time zone in Montreal

Montreal is in the Eastern time zone of North America, 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time during the summer (Eastern Daylight, EDT) and 5 hours during the winter (Eastern Standard, EST). Daylight Savings Time is observed from the first Sunday in April till the last Sunday in October.
In French, it is usual to see times quoted in 24-hour format, e.g. 20h30 is the same as 8:30 p.m. Keep this in mind for the times of events and for parking restrictions noted on official signs.
Opening hours:
In general, stores are open from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. Saturdays. There are exceptions: many large pharmacies, some grocery stores and some bookstores stay open late all week, and some smaller boutiques may open their doors later in the morning. If you are uncertain about a store's hours it is wise to phone ahead.


  • Electricity in Montreal.

Electricity in Canada is 110V and the plugs are the same as in the U.S. If you come from a country that uses 220V electricity, you will have to bring a converter.

  • Telephones in Montreal.

A local call at a Montréal pay-phone costs only $0.25 for the whole call duration. You can buy pre-paid phone cards for different amounts at most convenience stores (dépanneurs in French), newsstands, pharmacies and Bell Téléboutique stores. Note that there are 10-digit numbers to which no long distance charges apply (1 800, 1 888, 1 877 and 1 866).
Please note that the new 438 area code for the Montréal region takes effect October 2006, supplementing the 514 area code. Regardless of the area code, callers must dial the 10-digit number.

Directory assistance: 4-1-1
Operator: 0
Area codes:     514 or 438 (Montréal Island)
450 (Montréal surroundings) 

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  • Weights and Measures in Canada.

Although years ago, Canada used the same imperial system of weights and measures as the United States, Canada now uses the metric system. Temperatures are given in degrees Celsius, gasoline is sold by the litre, beverages are sold by liters or milliliters, and other grocery items are packaged by grams and kilograms. Short distances are given in centimeters or meters, while on the road, you'll see longer distances and speeds appear in kilometers. Below are some conversion equivalents.

Metric to imperial





1 meter

3.3 feet

1 km

0.62 mile

100 km/h

62 mph

1 kg

2.2 lb.

1 liter

0.22 Cdn. gal

Imperial to Metric

1 foot

0.30 meter

1 mile

1.61 km

50 mph

80 km/h

1 lb.

0.454 kg

1 Cdn. gal.

4.55 liters

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  • What are the legal holidays in Canada?

Canada observes standard North American holidays with a few differences. The national holiday is celebrated on July 1st (Canada Day) and Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October. An interesting phenomenon in Québec is that all leases are up for renewal on July 1st, so everyone moves at the same time of year. You're bound to see a few moving trucks.
May 21, 2007 is the Victoria Day. Banks and government offices will be closed that day.

  • What is the weather like in Montreal in May?
    • Average high temperature 19 degrees Celsius (66F)
    • Average low temperature 6 degrees Celsius (43 F)
    • Average rainfall 79 mm

Click here for the official weather web page of Canada and the five day forecast for Montreal.

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  • Museum Pass: 32 museums and city transportation for $45

Montréal’s museums and attractions are our connection to the past but they are modern in their outlook too and have earned an international reputation for excellence. They offer many intimate and exciting city perspectives on art, architecture, archaeology, science, nature, history, theatre and the big screen. There’s a treat in store no matter how you choose to experience Montréal!
For $45, taxes included, the Montréal Museums Pass gives 3-day unlimited access to 32 city museums and attractions, as well as the city transportation system. If you prefer, there’s a Montréal Museums Pass, with NO transport privileges for $35 (taxes included). Whichever you choose, Montréal Museums Passes are the perfect way to discover the city’s fascinating nature!
3-day pass to 32 museums, attractions and city transportation for $45: There’s no better way to make the most of your stay in Montréal!

Where to buy the Montréal Museums Pass
At participating museums and attractions, with the exception of Stewart Hall Art Gallery, Musée de Lachine, Just For Laughs Museum and the Redpath Museum. Passes are also available at:

  • Infotouriste Centre: 1255 Peel Street (Travelprice Agency counter)
  • Tourist Welcome Office in Old Montréal: 174 Notre Dame Street East
  • The Village Tourism Information Centre: 576 Sainte-Catherine Street East, Suite 200
  • Some Montréal hotels
  • On the Web site of La Forfaiterie:

When you buy a Montréal Museums Pass you get unlimited 3-day access to:

  • 32 city museums and many attractions
  • The city’s transportation system (bus and métro)*
  • A listing of participating museums and attractions

* if applicable
The museum-attraction pass is a stand-alone pass, independent of the transportation card; you have the option of activating both at once or on different dates.

Worth knowing!

  • The Montréal Museums Pass gives 1 person access to 1 visit per museum or attraction. (1 temporary exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1 Exploration package  at the Montréal Science Centre, 1 film at the Cinémathèque québécoise)
  • The Montréal Museums Pass is available for one price only. For children, senior and student rates, inquire at each individual museum or attraction
  • Some museums are free

The following museums and attractions participate:

For information:
Tel.: (514) 873-2015
Toll free: 1 877 BONJOUR (266-5687)

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The information on this page is composed using information on and Toursime Montreal